By any measure, Juniors' summer season fantastic
A successful American Legion Juniors season at Syracuse ended with a true third place finish at the recent American Legion state tournament at Pender.
Syracuse made it to the final four of the tourney and fell in an elimination game to the eventual state champs from Yutan.
The only losses for Syracuse at the tournament came to Yutan and Lincoln Christian, the runner up team at the Class C event.
Syracuse finished the season at 23-12.
Yutan won that last state tournament game over Syracuse, 10-2. Barrett Bischoff had two hits and Owen Wander had one in the loss. Micah Harvey pitched five frames, struck out two walked two and allowed three unearned runs. Sawyer Brammier and Wander both pitched one frame with three strikeouts each.
Looking back at the season for Syracuse, Braden LaFollette was the team leader offensively with 38 hits, 34 RBI and 11 doubles.
Other hit leaders were Robert Shanks, 35 hits, 24 RBI; 10 doubles and five triples; Connor Thompson, 34 hits with 31 RBI; Kayden DeGolyer, 27 hits and 36 RBI; Sawyer Brammier, 27 hits; Jase Voorhees, 23 hits and 22 RBI; Barrett Bischoff, 22 hits and 19 RBI; and Owen Wander, 22 hits and 26 RBI.
Pitching leaders were Jase Voorhees, six wins, 51 strikeouts and a 3.42 ERA; Braden LaFollette, three wins and 33 strikeouts; Micah Harvey, three wins, 43 strikeouts and a 1.68 ERA; Robert Shanks, three wins, 60 strikeouts and a 1.92 ERA; Sawyer Brammier, three wins and 37 strikeouts; Connor Thompson, two wins and 25 strikeouts; and Kayden DeGolyer, two wins.
Whether judged by stats, wins or that state tournament finish, most can agree the season went well for the Syracuse Juniors this summer.
“The Junior team had a great season,” said Coach Mark Bayliss. “Getting to the state tournament and competing for the state title is always a goal. The team played well, we just couldn’t capitalize on a few opportunities.”
Coach Bayliss said he enjoyed watching the players develop and excel in 2021.
“It’s great to see the growth of the guys. We had a lot of guys that everything just sort of clicked for them,” said Coach Bayliss. “Lots of guys stepped up their level of play which is awesome.
“Those who did will benefit going into Senior action next year,” Coach Bayliss said. “Those who still have another Junior season left will be primed and ready to help the next group of young Legion players next season.”
The focus on making the Juniors the best team they can be is not just an effort undertaken by coaches and players. Coach Bayliss acknowledged the community for allowing the Syracuse team to compete and make memories this and every year.
“I would like to thank the parents for all their support. It’s awesome to see so many people invested in the program,” said Bayliss. “Also, a big thanks to Syracuse Post 100. We appreciate what they have done to give the guys a chance to play this great game. And thanks to all the local sponsors who donate and provide support.”